In our latest Streets column 1xRUN Contributing Writer & Photographer Daniel Weintraub gives us an in depth look at a slew of murals and graffiti throughout Tokyo. After joining 1xRUN for a massive POW! WOW! Hawaii this past February, Weintraub headed to Japan where he went Invader Hunting and stopped by Haroshi’s studio. He wasn’t done after that as he snapped pictures throughout the streets of Tokyo capturing everything from illegal graffiti, stickers and stencils to large scale massive mural commissions. Read on for Weintraub’s recent trip through Tokyo…
Traveling around Tokyo afforded me the opportunity to see lots and lots of street art and graffiti. I was blessed with the help of a few locals who provided me GPS-based tips for finding some of Tokyo’s most obscure street pieces. Over the course of only six days I was able to take in tons of work from all over the city, some of it I would imagine to be “legal” and others not so much. This collection of photographs is made up of pieces I imagine were produced legally. There aren’t a ton of produced murals in Tokyo but as artists begin to travel there more and get big walls I can see that changing. With POW! WOW!’s recent endeavor into Tokyo having great results I can only imagine we will see more coming out of the streets of Japan as time goes on.
Now while murals throughout Tokyo may not be as widespread quite yet, most everywhere you turn in Tokyo you can see some sort of graffiti, as well as a healthy amount stickers and wheat pastes. The entire city isn’t crushed by any means, but certain areas most certainly are. I found the most sticker or slaps tended to outnumber traditional graffiti letters, this makes sense given the strictness of the laws in Japan. A sticker is quick to get up, inconspicuous, and if you look at the stickers still riding in Tokyo you know a slap has a chance to stay up a while. It seems that Tokyo has chosen to battle graffiti on certain types of structures, but in general has left others as an offering to the graffiti gods. As you can see by the photographs below Tokyo has a nice mix of local graffiti, as well as visiting artists, great for graffiti tourists like myself.
Words and photos by 1xRUN Contributing Photographer Daniel Weintraub. Follow him on Instagram @halopigg